How to use Netflix parental controls

Parents will know all about the entertainment on offer at Netflix, especially when children have to spend a lot more time at home. So how can you try and make sure Netflix is safe for your children; what kind of parental controls are in place? Let’s go through some of them.

How important is Netflix safety for children?

Like every aspect of media that kids enjoy, there are plenty of positives and also some downsides and dangers for parents to keep an eye on. There is a huge catalogue of content on Netflix, including films, cartoons, TV shows; and some of it will be a good fit for your children, some won’t be.

You’ll probably also want to keep an eye on how much they are watching, which comes down to your parenting style and ideas. As well as looking at issues around general child safety online, we will take you through how to set up some parental controls on the Netflix app to regulate what shows your kids actually do get to see.


What are parental controls on Netflix?

Parental controls in general allow you to regulate and protect your offspring from accessing inappropriate content. So you would get to restrict access to certain shows, set the usage times you think are right for your kids, and also keep tabs on their activity.

Parental controls on Netflix work this way too. It’s worth remembering that kids are now growing up so fast that every app and device quickly becomes native to them. You may even find your little masterminds are savvy enough to switch off or bypass your parental controls. So talking to them and setting up good habits is also probably a good plan.

Setting up account level parental controls on Netflix

With that, you get a 4-digit PIN-code which is then needed to view any content over a specific maturity level. We’ll go through what those levels are in a minute. Be aware that this is blanket protection for all your children, it cannot differentiate between users, or children of different ages. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Access your Netflix account page from a web browser.
  2. Select ‘Parental controls’ in the Settings section.
  3. Enter your Netflix password where prompted.
  4. Enter four numbers in the PIN field – this will be your code.
  5. Set your PIN protection level from the options available.
  6. Select Save.

Pin protection levels

You will be asked to choose the oldest age material they will be able to watch without needing a pin. These are the levels to select from:

  • Little kids – U certificates, safe for kids
  • Older kids – PG certificates
  • Teens – 12 certificates
  • Mature – 15 and 18 certificates, for mature and adult-themed material.

Once you are all set-up with PIN protection, anyone in the house who tries to access a show or film which is more adult than your chosen level will need to enter the PIN. As another option to safeguard your children on Netflix from watching specific titles, you can repeat the steps above but on point five instead select ‘PIN protection for a specific title’ which will put a code on a show or film you don’t want your children to see.

How to consider general Netflix safety for your kids

While it is good to have the option to block certain shows, there are probably some wider conversations that can be helpful for families. As kids grow older, talking with them about why certain films or shows are not appropriate can have a real value. For one thing, you won’t always be around and there are so many new media formats that – whether we like it or not – will come to your kids’ attention.

Giving them some framework to judge content and themes will help them deal with what may come their way in future. Also, if you have younger children, the difference between a hard and soft PG film can be quite subtle. Some children can find certain scenes scary, even though the certificate might suggest otherwise. Watching Netflix together as much as possible will help you deal with these issues, as they arise.

For more information on setting controls across a range of devices, apps and platforms visit Internet Matters

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